COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — With the crucial ‘cross-over’ deadline looming, South Carolina lawmakers are expected to take up a slew of bills this week.
This year’s deadline is April 10th. After this date, a bill would need a two-thirds vote in it’s chamber of origin to pass to the other legislative body. This means House bills would need a two-thirds vote to be sent to the Senate and vice-versa.
Some of the bills cutting it close include the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act (S.150). This bill would legalize medical cannabis in the state. It’s opposed by state law enforcement and state medical association.
Senators voted to send the bill to the floor last week.
The House’s version of the Hate Crimes Bill is also expected to be taken up before the deadline. South Carolina is one of three states without a state hate crime law on the books.
Another Senate bill has been garnering a lot of attention is a piece of legislation that would allow satellite wine tasting rooms.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, Sen. Richard Cash (R-District 3) said he doesn’t believe companies should be allowed to sell their products at these tasting rooms. He said it would hurt retailers in the state.
Cash said, “It’s a basic principle of conservatism that we don’t pick winners or losers. We try to set up a level playing field. This is certainly not a level playing field. We’re changing a law for this company.”
Supporters of the bill said this would help lure a wine company to Chester County. The company, E & J Gallo Winery based out of California, said they would bring millions of dollars of investment to the state and create hundreds of jobs if they set up shop.
Sen. Penry Gustafson said, “I think the market picks those winners and losers. Depends on what the demand is. If they want to come here that’s good. I think choices are good. I’m a capitalist at heart and welcome them and any other company that wants to come here.”
Senators are expected to debate this bill on the floor later this week.
So far, 10 bills have been signed into law according to the State House website.